Archives for May 2014

One Lie that Hinders Progress and Success

A few years ago I watched Tony Robbins expose the deception of trying. It forever changed the way I look at my efforts.

If Tony Robbins isn’t your cup of tea, how about Yoda from Star Wars fame. He said to Luke after Luke said he would try, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

After thinking about these issues, I ran across a great post on The Difference Between Trying and Doing by Michael Hyatt, which pretty much says what I want to say here. So instead of reinventing the wheel, I would like to encourage you to…

  • Watch the Tony Robbins’ video for a few minutes starting at 9:30 (note that there is some bleeped profanity) or read the post by Michael Hyatt.
  • Consider if you have used the excuse, “Well, I tried,” when your plans don’t turn out quite like you want.

I should qualify this post by saying that sometimes a goal needs to be put in a timeout chair because to move forward would not be healthy or wise. But be very clear that this activity is off the front burner—actually, off the stove completely and on the shelf until the right time so you don’t trick yourself into believing you’re trying when really you’re taking no action at all.

Also, if you are a recovering perfectionist or are performance oriented, you may be trying too hard or in the wrong way. Sometimes you’ve done all that you can do, and since you can’t (or shouldn’t) control others, you have to rest in the fact that you’ve given yourself the best opportunity to succeed. The rest is in God’s hands.

Having said that, usually there is a specific action that will take us from where we are to one step closer to where we want to be. What’s the step for you?

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The Grace of God Lost and Found in Translation – by Derek Mitchell

3DI had the privilege to work with Derek Mitchell in 2013 to publish his book Unlocking the Power of Grace: How Religion Uses the Bible Against Us. I found his insights into a number of biblical passages very helpful. Below is an excerpt from the book taken from chapter 16: Cannot Be My Disciple.

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Cannot Be My Disciple

Luke 14:25-27 – Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33 – (Jesus speaking) “…any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” 

Scratching the Surface

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus sprinkles in what seem to be qualifications to follow Him and these look pretty daunting. Hate our father and mother? Carry our cross? Give up everything? What does He mean? It sounds like unless we walk away from our family, friends, job, material possessions, etc., we are disqualified from being a disciple of Jesus, that we cannot be saved. Wow! Could this be true? Is this consistent with the New Covenant of grace?

Law vs. Grace

We used this impossibly high expectation in my measure-up-or-else church to weed out those who were not willing to be sold out in following Jesus. If people were unwilling to live up to these standards, they could not become a Christian and be saved. It seems pretty harsh but, in our minds, it was the expectation Jesus set not us. We were just trying to follow the Bible and restore Jesus’ standards so that the church could be what it was meant to be.

With the help of this passage and others like it, we concluded that the biblical standard for being a true disciple of Jesus was someone who was willing to give up everything, go anywhere, and do anything for the kingdom (a.k.a. the church). Again, we were just trying to follow what we thought the Bible laid out. It might sound very controlling and legalistic, almost cult-like, but we were sincere in our faith and in our efforts to be close to God. We wanted to show our love for Him through our obedience and humility.

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7 Tips to Choose a Winning Title and Subtitle for a Nonfiction Book

You’ve got about 3 seconds to land a positive impression with a potential reader as they browse online, at a bookstore, or at your book table. Your title and subtitle (along with cover design) are what will heavily influence that first impression.

I love what Dan Poynter says about book titles:

A great title will not sell a bad book, but a poor title will hide a good book from potential customers.

With millions of titles on the market, it can be tough to find a unique title that describes your book well yet is distinct, creative, and has a hook (it’s catchy).

I’ve spent countless hours trying to find the right title and subtitle for an amazing book. Nat Bodian, book marketing expert and author of How to Choose a Winning Title, says, “Choose a title for your book at least as carefully as you would select a given name for your firstborn child.” It’s worth taking time to name your book.

Seven Tips to Choose a Winning Title and Subtitle

Remember that the title is the hook (it gets the readers’ attention) and the subtitle sells the book—clearly and creatively telling a potential reader what they’re going to get out of the book. My ten tips for choosing a good title and subtitle are as follows: [Read more…]